Epsom Salt Formula For Stump Removal

Written by Amir Tajer


Posted on September 07 2016

We all know that removing a tree stump without heavy equipment can be backbreaking work.

Axes, picks, chainsaws and pry bars are the tools required, along with at least a whole day of hard work.

Epsom salt is the best substance to remove a tree stump if it is in your garden or lawn, since it enhances the quality of your soil.

Using chemical applications makes stump removal an easier yet slower process.

Why Epsom Salt?

Epsom Salt for Stump Removal

After a tree has been cut down or fallen, the root network will continue to feed the stump. A living stump will not rot and may grow new shoots.

Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) is hygroscopic, which means the crystals absorb water.

With enough quantity added, Epsom salt pulls moisture from the wood, which then kills the tree.

There are many other products that could be applied to a tree stump to kill it, but Epsom salt has advantages over other stump removal chemicals.

Rock salt or caustic lye would dry out the wood, but high sodium levels could make it difficult to replant after the stump has been removed.

Commercial stump removal preparations contain potassium nitrate, which helps decomposition but does little to kill a living stump.

Epsom salt kills the stump while improving the surrounding soil by adding magnesium and sulfur; plants require both for chlorophyll production.

How to Apply Epsom Salt for Stump Removal

Epsom Salt for Stump Removal

1. Drill holes on the top of the stump with a one-inch spade bit. The number of holes you will drill depends on how large the stump top is.

2. Start your holes three inches from the perimeter of the stump and keep them three to four inches apart until you run out of room.

3. Drill the holes as deep as you can, at least eight inches into the base of the stump.

4. Pour 100 percent Epsom salt into the holes and add enough water to moisten the salt. This moisture will carry the salts into the cells of the tree, drying them out.

5. Then use a mattock or grub hoe to uncover as much as the root structure as you can.

6. Pour a thick layer of Epsom salt on all exposed roots to prevent to roots from carrying moisture and nutrients to the base of the tree.

Larger stumps may take a month or two to die, so plan to reapply the Epsom salt every three weeks. Brittle, dark wood is dead; while soft, light wood will require another application of Epsom salt.

A dead stump will decompose naturally, though you can speed the process by adding a high nitrogen fertilizer, like our organic Blood Meal fertilizer, to the drilled holes and around the base of the stump.

Shop our Epsom salt and Blood Meal fertilizer below. 


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  • Comment author

    My 20 volt drill will not drive a 1” blade bit into the oak or pine stump even 2 inches much less 8. Even tried my plug in electric drill which is maximum power. Your solution works well in an cartoon illustration. In real life it is a tad more challenging.. I’d welcome a real life video to see this idea proven.

    Posted by David salmon | May 18, 2021
  • Comment author

    These are some great information that you have shared here on Epsom salt formula for stump removal. I really loved it and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You have a great visualization and you have really presented this content in a really good manner.

    Posted by tree removal wellington | March 02, 2021
  • Comment author

    Wonderful information, thanks a lot for sharing kind of content with us. Your blog gives the best and the most interesting information on Epsom salt formula for stump removal. I wonder if we can gather such practical information about it, a great post definitely to come across. Find an incredible site having lots of ideas and tips that can be handy

    Posted by Arborist South Auckland | March 02, 2021
  • Comment author

    All the best things on the epsom salt formula for stump removal in detail. Such articles are not only knowledge enhancers but also very interesting to read and to learn to compare from. I loved reading this article, will visit again in the future to read more.

    Posted by Arborist Tokoroa | March 02, 2021
  • Comment author

    Your article is quite helpful!! I have so many questions, and you have answered many of them. Thank you!! Such a nice and super article, we have been looking for this information about the epsom salt formula for the stump removal. Indeed a great post about it.

    Posted by Arborist Tauranga | February 05, 2021
  • Comment author

    Epsom salt is a chemical. Magic is not chemical.

    Posted by John | October 14, 2020
  • Comment author

    This advice helps me alot

    Posted by Ruben Murguia | July 24, 2020
  • Comment author

    Thank you this tree or bush has spread all over the back yard. Your advice is appreciated, be safe 😷✌️

    Posted by Ruben Murguia | July 24, 2020
  • Comment author

    Thank you this tree or bush has spread all over the back yard. Your advice is appreciated, be safe 😷✌️

    Posted by Ruben Murguia | July 24, 2020
  • Comment author

    This is a great way to kill a stump without chemicals..Thank you!

    Posted by Jacqueline McClain | June 03, 2019
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